Las Vegas Lawyer for Relocation of Children Under the Parental Rights Protection Act
Experienced Family Law Attorney in Clark County, Nevada
In Nevada, if a parent with custody of a child wishes to relocate with the child, the relocating parent must comply with strict legal requirements in the Parental Rights Protection Act before moving the child. In many cases, state law requires the relocating parent to secure written permission from the other parent or to file a court petition for permission to move the child.
In our family law practice at The Gersten Law Firm, we help parents with all child custody matters, including relocation of children. Attorney Joseph Gersten draws on his analytical and investigative background, extensive domestic relations law experience, and courtroom skill to protect your rights and interests. Your initial consultation is always free-of-charge.
Nevada Parental Rights Protection Act
In 2015, the Nevada Parental Rights Protection Act substantially changed the legal rules relating to relocation of children by custodial parents. The law codified state court rules and resolved issues created in earlier state statutes.
The Act includes provisions relating to relocation of children by custodial parents. It imposes specific requirements that a parent must meet before moving a child. The law enables the non-relocating parent to take steps to protect their relationship with the child if the other parent seeks to move the child to a different residence.
If a parent with custody of a child unlawfully moves the child in violation of the Act, the law prohibits the judge from taking any post-relocation facts or circumstances into account in ruling on the relocation. This provision discourages parents from moving a child without complying with the legal requirements.
In addition, if a relocating parent fails to abide by the statutory requirements, he or she may face criminal charges and be assessed attorney’s fees and costs for court proceedings involving relocation of the child.
Relocation By a Parent With Primary Physical Custody
A specific section applies to a parent who has primary physical custody of a child under a court order. If that parent plans to relocate with the child outside Nevada or within the state “at such a distance that it would substantially impair the ability of the other parent to maintain a meaningful relationship with the child,” the law requires the custodial parent to make an effort to secure the written consent of the non-custodial parent.
If the non-custodial parent refuses to consent, the custodial parent must petition the court for permission to relocate with the child. If the non-custodial parent refuses consent without having a reasonable basis or for the purpose of harassing the custodial parent, the court may award attorney’s fees and costs to the custodial parent.
Relocation By a Parent With Joint Physical Custody
A different section applies when the parents have joint physical custody under a court order. The same rule about relocation inside or outside the state applies when the parents have joint physical custody. If one parent plans to relocate with the child outside Nevada or within the state “at such a distance that it would substantially impair the ability of the other parent to maintain a meaningful relationship with the child,” the law requires the relocating parent to make an effort to secure the written consent of the non-relocating parent.
If the non-relocating parent refuses to give consent, the relocating parent must petition the court for primary physical custody for the purpose of relocating. The court may award attorney’s fees and costs if the non-relocating person withholds consent unreasonably or to harass the relocating parent.
Court Petition For Permission to Relocate a Child
When a relocating parent files a court petition for permission to move with a child, whether the parent has primary or joint physical custody, the law requires the parent to demonstrate to the court that:
- There is a good-faith, sensible reason for the move, and relocating is not intended to deprive the other parent of parenting time;
- Allowing the parent to move with the child is in the child’s best interests; and
- The relocating parent and child will benefit from an actual advantage because of the move.
If the petitioning parent demonstrates these requirements, the court then weighs the impact of the following factors on the child and each parent, including the extent to which the move accommodates the interests of the child and each parent:
- Whether the move will improve in the child’s and relocating parent’s quality of life;
- Whether the relocating parent has honorable motives, devoid of any intention to defeat or frustrate visitation rights of the other parent;
- Whether the relocating parent will comply with court-ordered visitation if the court grants permission for the move;
- Whether the non-relocating parent’s motives in resisting the move are honorable or to what extent opposition is based on an effort to secure a financial advantage in ongoing support obligations or otherwise;
- Whether the opportunity realistically exists for the non-relocating parent to keep a visitation schedule that adequately preserves and fosters the parental relationship if the move is approved;
- Any other factor that assists the court in determining whether permission should be granted.
Finally, the parent wishing to move with the child must demonstrate to the court that relocating is in the child’s best interest. In considering a petition for permission to relocate a child, the judge takes a wide factors into account in deciding whether to allow a parent to move a child away from the other parent.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Las Vegas Child Relocation Attorney
The law places substantial requirements on a parent wishing to relocate a child away from the other parent when the move substantially impairs the other parent’s relationship with the child. Whether you are the relocating parent or the non-relocating parent, Las Vegas family law attorney Joseph Gersten can help you address relocation issues involving your child.
Attorney Gersten approaches family law matters with sincere compassion and sensitivity. He understands the emotional stress and complexity of any legal matter relating to children. He will evaluate your case based on his extensive experience and apply his knowledge and skill to protect your rights and interests.
If a relocating parent fails to abide by statutory requirements in moving a child, the parent may face criminal charges. The Gersten Law Firm also represents clients in criminal matters. If you face criminal charges relating to violation of the Parental Rights Protection Act, Attorney Gersten can defend you against the charges.
Your initial consultation is free-of-charge. Call 702.857.8777 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment.